Fading Job Coaching Supports
One of the most important parts of assisting an individual with obtaining and keeping a job is to
make sure to have a plan for fading and for the maintenance of work skills after training. Fading
is important because it helps in facilitating social inclusion, allows the individual to receive
supervision and training from the employer, and it helps to avoid segregation of the individual
from his/her co-workers. Even in cases where the job coach is working in an enclave or group
setting, the job coach should focus on how to fade the one-to-one assistance and direction they
are providing to the worker with a disability.
Some fading should occur on the first day of employment and on every other day, even if the
degree of fading is extremely slight, like asking the supervisor to keep an eye on the employee
for a minute while you use the bathroom. Waiting for the right time makes fading harder to do.
Sometimes a job coach has problems fading that are really not related to actual techniques, but to
other issues. It is important to be aware of some of the hidden reasons why people avoid fading
or take too long to fade from a situation.
Boredom: Passive observation at a job site can be boring, and giving prompts is something
Production Requirements: As an additional person on the scene, the company may view a
job coach as someone who is available to do some extra work and begin giving assignments.
Trainee Job Satisfaction: Receiving training from a job coach may be one of the reinforcing
things about a job for an employee, who begins to decrease work performance or engage in
problem behavior at the point where the employment specialist starts leaving.
Co-worker Role: Some job coaches begin to do parts of the job for an employee or complete
tasks together with an employee, without a clear plan for switching these functions to a co-
worker at the company. Despite good intentions, a rapport and a comfortable routine might
develop that is hard to break.
Unconscious Cues: A trainee is often able to ―read‖ subtle cues that the job coach is not
even aware that he/she is giving, and use these to guide performance.
Trainer Job Satisfaction: After a while on a job, a job coach may come to know some of
the company personnel, look forward to seeing them, or enjoy other aspects of the job site;
without even being aware of it, there may be a tendency to visit more than necessary.
Discomfort with Non-employee Status: Standing around or appearing passive and
uninvolved in production, can be uncomfortable—a job coach may even be teased about
this—and lead to more rather than less intervention.
As fading progresses there will be a point where continual direct presence and continual
observation are unnecessary but the job coach needs to remain on site to spot-check certain
things, or in case there is a problem. Here are some ideas for productive use of ―fading‖ time:
Developed by Institute for Community Inclusion, Boston, MA
Observe co-worker social interactions and figure out ways to include the employee.
Get to know some co-workers and their interests, to find possible common interests with the
Teach co-workers and supervisors how to best work with the employee.
Teach supervisors how to evaluate the employee’s progress.
Conduct a disability awareness or diversity awareness workshop for the company.
Look for ideas and talk with managers about creating new jobs for people your agency serves
within the company.
Analyze other jobs at the company, explore ways to increase work efficiency, or develop an
evaluation tool that can be used for all the employees.
When continual presence is no longer necessary, it is time to sit down and discuss with the
worker and employer a plan for you to switch to periodic visits to the work site. Remember that
it is your responsibility to make sure that adequate supports are in place for the worker, co-
workers and employer and a follow-up plan is developed that assures continued communication
and agreed upon strategies to respond to changes and/or problems that may occur.
Institute for Community Inclusion , Boston, MA – www.communityinclusion.org